17 Jan 2014 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 17 JAN (NAMPA) - President Hifikepunye Pohamba as the Commander-in-Chief of the Namibian Defence Force officially conferred the rank of Lieutenant-General on the new Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) John Mutwa on Friday.
Mutwa was appointed as the new CDF by the Head of State in December last year, replacing Lieutenant-General Epaphras Denga Ndaitwah who retired on 31 December 2013.
The appointment took effect on 01 January this year.
In his address during the ceremony in the capital, the Head of State called on Mutwa to ensure that members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) keep abreast of military technology while promoting harmonious working relationships amongst senior commanders in order to address the welfare of the country's soldiers.
He explained that as part of Namibia's foreign policy, the NDF is expected to participate in peace-keeping roles, adding that in order to succeed in this role, the defence force is required to promote a culture of respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, especially the protection of women and children, in conflict situations.
I have all the confidence that with his professional military background and dedication, Lieutenant-General Mutwa will serve our country and people with loyalty, courage, dignity and honour as Chief of the Defence Force. I wish him success in his new responsibility, Pohamba said.
He noted that in terms of Article 1 (1) of the Namibian Constitution, the Republic of Namibia is founded upon the principles of democracy, the rule of law and justice for all.
In this regard, our defence force is expected to operate within the letter and spirit of the Namibian Constitution, the Defence Act of 2002, and the Defence Policy, among other instruments, he stressed.
Pohamba said the Namibian Defence Force was established in terms of Article 118 (1) of the Namibian Constitution, and its primary responsibility is to defend the territory and national interests of Namibia.
He added that Article 119 (2) of the Namibian Constitution requires the Chief of the Defence Force to make provision for the balanced structuring of the Defence Force.
The CDF is also required to make suitable appointments to the defence force and to have charges of indiscipline amongst members of the defence force investigated.
He said the CDF is further entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the efficient administration of the defence force.
Pohamba also issued Mutwa with a warrant to convene General Courts Martial and to issue warrants to officers under his command to convene General Martial Courts.
This was done under Section 68 (b) and (c) of Schedule One of the Defence Act of 2002, he said.